Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by: Matthew Quick
Published: August 13th, 2013
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Goodreads synopsis: In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I'm sorry I couldn't be more than I was—that I couldn't stick around—and that what's going to happen today isn't their fault.
Today is Leonard Peacock's birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather's P-38 pistol.
But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school's class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.
In this riveting book, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out.
Upon reading this book I did not know that this was a book about suicide so I did not have any expectations for this book, nor did I hear reviews about this book. I am glad for that because I was able to sort out my own feelings without my judgement being clouded.
This book follows Leonard who on his birthday will kill his bestfriend (ex-bestfriend rather) but first he has a few stops along the way to address those that he cherished the most. The parts of this book that I really liked were also parts of this book that were the deepest, emotionally. I liked when there was light shown on Leonard and his ex-bestfriends friendship in their earlier years. I did not expect it to turn out so badly from the abuse that these two boys had suffered. I was rather furious when Leonard's mom and how she witnessed some of the abuse that was going on with her son, yet did nothing and acted as if everything was ok. I also felt so sad that Leonard did not have anyone to turn to for help, which then led to him to start forming these dark thoughts/plans. I also loved Leonard's relationship with Walt, who gave him a sense of belonging and Herr Silverman, who helped pull him out of this dark despair even when no one else seemed to care.
I have a few cons with this book that led me to give it the rating that I did. The first thing that I did not like was the letters from the future. I did not like them because they were placed randomly throughout the book and it made me really confused. At first I didn't know what I had just read but as the story progresses you later find out what those letters mean to Leonard. Even though I thought the letters to the future were confusing I do believe that they helped Leonard in the end and helped him see what the future could hold for him even if that means enduring the pains he faces in the present. The last thing that I did not like is that it took almost the whole book to figure out why Leonard wanted to kill himself. Once I found out this part of his life I felt so much sadness for Leonard and wished he did not experience the things that he had throughout his life. I would have loved to hear more about that trauma because that is a topic that isn't really touched on much but effects so many individuals and families today.
Overall I think this book was a good read, that made you turn page after page in order to figure out what else Leonard had up his sleeve.
Final Verdict: 3.5 Stars